Keeping kids out of the divorce drama

It can be difficult to keep children out of all of the drama associated with a divorce, but columnist James Windell of Staten Island Live warns parents that purposefully turning a child against an ex-spouse can create unneeded conflict.

In attempting to enlist a child as an ally in a divorce, knowingly or unknowingly, the anger, resentment and bitterness can make it difficult to co-parent. Sometimes, parents think they are helping their children better understand the divorce or separation by discussing issues honestly and openly, but the result can create conflict for a child as they feel pulled in two directions.

“No matter how they try to justify giving their child too much information about the other parent or about the divorce, the intent is to attempt to get their child to side with them,” Windell explained.

In the face of divorce, children and teenagers can experience anxiety, stress, depression and resentment toward one or both of their parents. The added pressure from a parent can be manipulative and harmful.

Mothers may often be guilty of sharing too much information with children in the face of separation. According to a study at the University of Arizona, most mothers discussed their financial situations and complained about their ex-husbands to their daughters during a divorce.